5431 NE 20th Ave.
Ken Vandermark / Paal Nilssen-Love Duo
The high impact duo of Paal Nilssen-Love (drums) and Ken Vandermark (reeds) has been working together at an accelerated rate since 2002, and they have put out seven albums of exceptional and wide ranging improvised music since then. Though they have both worked in many critically acclaimed groups- from the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, Lean Left (with Terrie Hessels and Andy Moor of The Ex) to Double Tandem (with Dutch saxophonist, Ab Baars)- they have continued to return to their duo for more than a dozen years because it remains crucial to their creative output. Nilssen-Love and Vandermark began this collaboration when they recorded their initial album, Dual Pleasure, for the label smalltownsupersound. Shortly afterward, they performed their first concert at the Molde International Jazz Festival. Since then, they’ve performed on an international basis every year- in Europe, North America, and Japan. Their approach to the duo context is ferocious in its intensity, combining extreme rhythmic velocity with formal deconstruction and re-assembly, and a freedom to use any genre at anytime. In many ways, Nilssen-Love and Vandermark are more open this setting than in any of their other playing situations, creating a unique approach to improvised music that is riveting for both its ideas and execution. In September of 2015 their duo will hit the road in the United States, performing in the Midwest and on the West Coast to celebrate the release of their eighth album, a co-production from their labels: PNL Records and Audiographic Records, recorded live during a blistering performance in Antwerp during their European tour of October, 2013. “In the work of some artists there is an opus magnum, referring to the largest, and perhaps the best, greatest, or most renowned achievement of their art, often (but not necessarily) a late work in which they condense their mastership. Some examples might be Beethoven’s Symphony Nr. 9, John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme, David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time or Rembrandt’s The Night Watch. Extended Duos, the latest release from Ken Vandermark (reeds) and Paal Nilssen-Love (drums), who have been working together since 2002 and who have put out seven albums of the most excellent improvised music in the reeds/drums duo genre (for example Milwaukee Volume or the recently reviewed Lightning over Water), is such an opus magnum.” -Martin Schray (Free Jazz Blog), December 27, 2014
Optic Nerve Trio
Optic Nerve Trio is an experimental project featuring Lee Elderton on soprano sax, Dan Duval on guitar and Stephen Pancerev on drums. These veterans of the Portland jazz scene form an improvisational trio blending free jazz with sparse, minimalist pieces as a type of spinoff to their main musical project Ocular Concern.